Well done schools of Great Britain! Fabulous entries for the Cook for The Queen competition are arriving at Love British Food. With just a couple of weeks before entries close, we look at some of the exciting submissions that are already piling up…
The Key Stage Two baking club at Barnby Road Academy in Newark, Nottinghamshire, was first introduced to the Cook for The Queen competition at a lunchtime meeting. The club, comprising of twelve year five and six children, worked in pairs brainstorming different types of food they thought The Queen would enjoy. They discussed their ideas with their families and looked at food that was served at other royal occasions such as the recent Royal wedding. Many children's families spoke of the Silver Jubilee and the street parties and celebrations that they remembered. Some even shared photos of the events.
The children quickly learned that local didn't mean bought from the local supermarket but from actual local food producers. They had no idea that there were so many food producers in the area and were very excited to find out more.
The children were shown images of canapés to help them understand the concept of creating bite size food in an interesting form. From these initial ideas the children drafted a menu. As part of the discussion, the idea of using a Bramley apple to make a crumble flavoured ice cream caught the children's imagination. The children found out about a local ice cream producer, Thaymar ice cream. Thelma, the owner of the Thaymar ice cream factory, was very excited about the children's ideas for the competition and suggested that the children visit the factory to see how ice cream was made. She also offered to talk to the children about where all the food was sourced from for her local tearoom and farm shop. Thelma wanted the children to understand the philosophy of supporting and buying locally.
The next step was involving people in the local community. Knowing from their research that the WI was well respected for food knowledge, the children invited 3 members of Newark Fountain WI to a lunchtime meeting. They also invited Mr Roberts, ex mayor of Newark and a school trustee, to the meeting. The children showed the visitors their updated menu and asked some pre-prepared questions.
The pupils are very proud of the menu that they have created and have made a podcast for the school website sharing their learning and ideas with the whole school and the local community. Within the baking club sessions the children have made breads and tarts, trialling flavours and learning new techniques such as kneading and proving.
The research and work done as part of the competition entry has really opened the children's eyes in terms both of what local produce there is and the importance of using quality ingredients to create the best flavours. The baking club has impacted on the children's families too, with many parents reporting that the children have gone home and baked the recipes from baking club with other family members. It has encouraged these families to get baking together.
Priory Sports and Technology College in Preston, Lancashire, took the initiative to run their own Master Chef competition to see which pupils would come up with the best menu suggestions to cook for The Queen. James Holden from the Academy of Culinary Arts judged their in-house competition. The winning pupil then visited a local restaurant where she perfected her menu. She was then invited to demonstrate her culinary skills by cooking her menu in front of 400 people at the Young Generation conference in Southport. After the event, she met Hairy Biker, Dave, who gave her feedback and discussed the merits of her corn-fed chicken and how delicious her sticky toffee pudding was. Her menu comprised of confit of cured salmon served with seared scallop, apple, cucumber and créme fraiche followed by roast Goosnargh corn-fed chicken with white asparagus, jersey royal potatoes and fennel salad. Her pudding was Grandma Liz's sticky toffee pudding with caramelized bananas, Chantilly cream and butterscotch sauce.
The school is also holding a Queen's Jubilee Cupcake competition and is hosting a special community day for the occasion. The local Armed Services, Police, Ambulance and Fire Service are all going to be invited to a street-party themed buffet at the school to highlight the excellent work they do within the community.
Pupils at Carr's Glen Primary School in Belfast have been learning about Queen Elizabeth II and her 60-year reign as part of their class topic. When they began to create canapé ideas for the Cook for The Queen competition they wanted to involve everyone from the staff and parents to vegetable growers from the local allotment. The school kitchens are helping the children to cook their competition menu for staff, parents and invited guests at a special Royal tea party. Their canapé ideas include Irish salmon with Fivemiletown Brie served on homemade soda bread, mini Ulster fry and stuffed Comber potato skins.
Entries for Cook for The Queen must be submitted by Monday 30th April… go on - be part of the party!
To find out how your school can Cook for The Queen [click here]
To download the 'Cook for The Queen' leaflet to give to teachers and display on your school noticeboard [click here]
For the special Love British Food Cook for The Queen resource pages [click here]
For more inspiring ideas about how to integrate British food into the Curriculum, see the Love British Food resource guide Putting the Ooo! back into food [click here]